Author: Pastor Atef Barnaba
Category: Proclamation Evangelism
To facilitate a truly global conversation, we ask Christian leaders from around the world to respond to the Global Conversation’s lead articles. These points of view do not necessarily represent the Lausanne Movement. They are designed to stimulate discussion from all points of the compass and from different segments of the Christian community. Please add your perspective by posting a comment so that we can learn and grow together in the unity of the Spirit.
A response to our lead articles this month:
Nothing Rhymes with Orange. False. Nothing and Orange do not Rhyme - Rev Richards Gibbons
Preach The Gospel Wherever You Go - Use Words if You Have to - Rev Derek Simpson
Toward a Biblical Approach to Understanding Proclamation Evangelism - Thomas Johnston
Witnessing to the Gospel of Jesus Christ in an unfriendly environment is a challenge in itself. Muslims in the Middle East are not living in a spiritual or a cultural vacuum. They claim they have the full truth of God, and have a compelling pride in that. They challenge the authenticity of the Bible and the historic fact of the cross of Jesus. They ridicule our claim of who Jesus is and our belief in the Trinity.
The Muslims are not tolerant for other religions and strongly hold the position that all non-Muslims are flawed in their beliefs. As a result of all this many young Christians in the Middle East are embarrassed to witness to their Christian faith because they are intimidated by the loud propaganda around them.
Gospel proclamation is a vital element of the life of the church in Egypt where the largest church in the Middle East lives for more than 2000 years. The church expresses the gospel not only by its mere existence and survival, but also by the growing skill of explaining what the gospel is all about.
Friendship Evangelism is one of the proven proclamation strategies. Individual Christians can bear their witness of the life of Jesus in their lives as they act as the salt and light to their community. Responding to the persisting inquiries of their friends and neighbors opens the door for constructive conversations and ministry situations. Preparing individual Christians for such a role is an important part of discipleship programs in local churches
People are more oriented to oral communication because of the high rate of illiteracy and the increasing dependency on Television and in particular satellite TV. The legal boundaries on the propagation of the Christian faith emphasize the importance of preaching the gospel in churches and through Satellite broadcasting with remarkable results.
The increasing uses of the internet have created a new forum for interaction in the area of sharing the good news away from the social and cultural restrictions. Young people are greatly influenced by the impact of the social network as never before.
The power of the gospel for salvation is evident by the changed lives of those who respond positively to the claims of the cross of Jesus. The Gospel in our context is more than an intellectual approach to Christianity; it is a personal encounter with the risen Lord and Savior.
For many the proclamation of the Gospel through biblical preaching is supported with healings and bondage breaking. Some seekers are rewarded with angelic visitations and meaningful dreams and visions pointing them to the way of truth and life.
The preaching of the gospel of hope and forgiveness is very much alive in the everyday life of the church in Egypt.
“We are not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes.” Romans 1:15
Pastor Atef Barnaba: Kasr El Doubara Evangelical Church (KDEC), Cairo, Egypt